- I am not present enough with my children
There I was, on the couch surfing TikTok while my kiddo was trying to get my attention for me to watch another “trick”. I was burnt out, mentally zonked, and physically drained. I barely had the energy to watch my child to another one-footed hop. I knew then that something needed to change.
This year has been rough for so many of us. Childcare/school has been closed, family members can’t be called on, we have to homeschool and work and parent while not trying to lose our shit.
I couldn’t do it anymore. If you’re there, show yourself compassion, we weren’t meant to do this life alone.
Something that shifted in me was recognizing my struggle and allowing myself time to work on it. I started waking up early so I could enjoy my coffee alone, but then the family started waking up early too… so that didn’t work. I then started taking long, hot baths but that didn’t give me the peace I was looking for because I was on my phone in the tub not fully recharging. I knew something needed to change.
If I wanted to be more present with my children I needed to be more present with myself. I began morning meditation. I do it from my bed when I first wake up in the morning. I begin with a gratitude list, a visualization of me achieving my goal, and finally 10 minutes of breathing and mindfulness. I recognize within myself my feelings, fears, and joys.
If you want to be more mindful with your children, it starts with mindfulness with yourself.
When I begin to feel those old feelings of burnout and overwhelm I go back to the breath. I take a step away, 1-5 minutes, and I simply breathe and process what I am feeling so I can return back to my children in a clear space.
Try it for yourself. There are many YouTube videos that teach meditation, gratitude, and mindfulness so you can work on being present in the moment with those you love the most.
- I can’t do it all.
DUH! I hate this idea of balance because it insinuates people are doing it all. We aren’t, no one is. And who says you have to? I prefer to look at work-life “balance” as work-life harmony. You give a little here, and a little there, and you shift in areas that need it more at the time. Sometimes you get it wrong, but you adjust!
I often say the strongest thing a person can do is ask for help. Call on those people in your life for help. Be honest with what you can handle and show yourself compassion for doing what you can with the tools you’re given. We all struggle in one way or another, but as long as your priorities are in check and met we will be successful. We will live harmoniously.
Make a list of your priorities. I have found myself spending too much time on tasks that don’t matter, and I was doing them because I thought I had to now because I needed to. Cut out the things that don’t serve you, delegate tasks where you can, and remember you weren’t meant to do this life alone. Sometimes the little things may go undone for a little while, but if the big things are taken care of the other things don’t matter.
Make a list of the things you’ve done, celebrate how far you’ve come, and remember you’re doing your best.
- Feeling guilty for being away and/or feeling guilty for enjoying it.
Parenting guilt is the WORST. You feel bad for leaving, you feel bad for staying, you worry about what you’re doing and if you’re doing it in the best way possible. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you feel like you’re not doing enough. Many people will tell you that worrying about how you’re doing as a parent makes you a good parent, however, I disagree.
While I understand the comment, the guilt doesn’t make you a better parent… the caring about your children does.
Here’s the thing, whether you work in the home, out of the home, or simply enjoy time away you’ve probably felt bad about leaving. The truth is you leave for a reason, you chose to leave because leaving benefits you or your family in one way or another. The pros of leaving outweighed the cons. When I finally accepted that as true I was able to release the guilt that surrounded me. I was able to enjoy my time away which benefited myself and my family
Prior to this mindset shift, when I was on the road and I would call home and I would be sad. I would flood my family with messages about how much I missed them, asking constantly if they were okay, I would let them know I was worried about them. I would spend time alone in my hotel room crying about how much I was missing out. Here’s the thing, they could sense my pain. They could feel my energy. They would feel bad and worried, too because they could tell mommy was hurting.
When I was able to shift the perspective and change the narrative about working outside the home, when I would call I was calling from a place of inner peace. I am peaceful about the decision to leave. I accept our reality and our choices and I do the best I can to make it a great experience for myself and my family. The energy shifted in myself and my family.
Sure, I still miss my family when I am on the road, I still have moments of worry that they’re okay, but I no longer feel guilty for leaving because I know how this benefits everyone in my household.
These questions can help you change your perspective on your reason for leaving and help you release the guilt.
Ask yourself why do you feel guilty?
Who benefits from the guilt?
Who is disadvantaged from the guilt?
What could you do differently?
How does feeling guilty serve you?
What would happen if you released this pain and enjoyed/immersed yourself in your experience?
What would life look like if you allowed yourself to be present and guilt-free, for yourself and others?
Now visualize yourself in your new mindset and all the benefits you and your family will enjoy now.
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